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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 124-130

Attitude of undergraduate medical students toward psychiatry: A cross-sectional comparative study

1 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, JLN Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Parth Singh Meena
5, Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_82_17

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Context: Both psychiatry as a specialty and mental illnesses carry a lot of stigmatizing attitudes. Even medical professionals are not immune to prevailing stigma. Psychiatrists are perceived to have less scientific attitude, earn less money, to be less respected, and to have less prestige. Aims: The present study was designed to know the attitude of medical students with different years of exposure to medical education, toward psychiatry as a specialty. Settings and Design: The study was conducted at JLN medical College, Ajmer. The participants were divided into two groups, undergraduate and interns, respectively. It was a cross-sectional descriptive study. Materials and Methods: Self-administered sociodemographic and Attitude Toward Psychiatry-30 items questionnaires were given to the second-year and medical intern and the scores were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools. Statistical Analysis Used: Student's t-test and Chi-square test using SPSS version 21. Results: Nearly 84% of second-year medical students and 52% of interns had positive attitude toward psychiatry (P = 0.001). Only five second-year (5%) and two intern (1.8%) students affirmatively indicated to choose psychiatry as a career choice, while 73% denied choosing psychiatry as a specialty. Conclusions: Second-year medical students showed more positive attitude than the intern group. Increasing negative attitude in higher classes might be due to poor teaching of psychiatry in under graduate training, ridiculous stereotypic comments and remarks by medical teachers and practitioners belonging to other specialty branches.

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